tlhIngan-Hol Archive: Tue Jan 01 08:17:47 2002

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QAO?! question as antecedent of 'e'!!

qatlh per "QAO" lo'lu'? mujbej pervam.

Hey, isn't the label "question-as-object" a misnomer?
In fact, it seems that even the label "statement-as-object"
is often misused. In the following examples only sentence (1)
contains a statement, i.e. {yaHlIj Dalon} that functions as
the object of the verb {luneH}.

(1) yaHlIj Dalon luneH
    literally: You abandon your station;
               They want that.

(2) yaHlIj Dalon 'e' luSov
    literally: You abandon(ed) your station;
               They know that.

(3) qatlh yaHlIj Dalon 'e' luSovbe'
    literally: Why did/do you abandon your station?;
               They don't know that.

In (2) we have a complex sentence consisting of two *complete*
sentences (clauses): {yaHlIj Dalon}  and  {'e' luSov}.
The object of the latter is the pronoun 'e', not
the preceding sentence. Semantically {yaHlIj Dalon} is
coreferential with 'e' but in terms of grammar it is
merely a preceding sentence.

Likewise, in (3), whose grammaticality is often disputed,
we have a grammatically complete question {qatlh yaHlIj Dalon}, followed by 
another *complete* sentence {'e' luSovbe'}.
The object of that sentence is the pronoun 'e'.
Although {qatlh yaHlIj Dalon} is the antecedent of 'e',
it is not part of {'e' luSovbe'}. What could it be?
It is not an adverb, it is not a header noun and
most emphatically it is NOT an object. The object is {'e'}.

So, the problem is not whether questions can be used
as objects of sentences: they cannot.

The problem is what kind of construct can the pronoun 'e'
refer to: only to statements or to other sentence types
as well, i.e. to questions and orders.

I realize that many may object to my next example, but
couldn't (4) be used to call a reluctant crewman to order?

(4) yaHlIj yIlon 'e' vIra' jIH'e', HoDlI'.
    literally: Abandon your station!
               I, your captain, order that.


PS  batlh DIS chu' botagh 'e' vItul.

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